Reading Winnicott

Reading Winnicott

Reading Winnicott

Reading Winnicott

Synopsis

Reading Winnicott brings together a selection of papers by the psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott, providing an insight into his work and charting its impact on the well-being of mothers, babies, children and families.

With individual introductions summarising the key features of each of Winnicott's papers this book not only offers an overview of Winnicott's work, but also links it with Freud and later theorists. Areas of discussion include:

  • the relational environment and the place of infantile sexuality
  • aggression and destructiveness
  • illusion and transitional phenomena
  • theory and practice of psychoanalysis of adults and children.

As such Reading Winnicott will be essential reading for all students wanting to learn more about Winnicott's theories and their impact on psychoanalysis and the wider field of mental health.

Excerpt

Helen Taylor Robinson

Reading Winnicott is an important new book designed for advanced-level students and practitioners in clinical and academic trainings in psychoanalysis and related fields. It offers a scholarly reading of 14 key papers from the extensive body of writing on psychoanalytic theory and practice with children and adults by Donald Woods Winnicott (1896–1971). The two authors/editors each work broadly from within a Contemporary Freudian and Independent model of mind, and are very much in touch with European psychoanalysis and the international scene beyond. They have academic and clinical expertise over many years with infants, children, adolescents and adults. Furthermore, Dr Caldwell is the current Chair of the Winnicott Trust, and Ms Joyce a fellow Trustee and Editor. They inherited the project to create a Reader, originally put forward by Dr Jennifer Johns (then Chair and Editor), and myself (then fellow Trustee and Editor). This volume, produced under the auspices of the Winnicott Trust, is a fulfilment of the Trust’s role with reference to Winnicott and his work. It finds a suitable home in the new Teaching imprint of the prestigious New Library of Psychoanalysis series.

André Green who values highly Winnicott’s contributions to psychoanalysis from within the British tradition, nonetheless says in his Prolegomena to the book Key Ideas for a Contemporary Psychoanalysis, that ‘It is difficult to situate Winnicott’ whom he identifies as both a representative of the Independent Group in British psychoanalysis and ‘a Kleinian dissident’. This new book on Winnicott is important, and I would add ambitious and innovative, because the two author/editors attempt to do exactly that – to situate Winnicott within and alongside the psychoanalytic ideas of yesterday and today.

In the closing paragraph of their General Introduction, Caldwell and Joyce write, referring to a British colleague’s article:

Spurling wonders about what Winnicott represents now and what he repre
sented in the past; that is, he introduces a social and historical perspective
about his character, theory, and practice, those of others, and the external
relations, social networks, and specific modalities of developments in the

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